Treasure Basket for Baby–Heuristic Play Away from Home

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Are you a fan of heuristic play? Chances are good that you are even if you’ve never heard the term before! Heuristic play is a fancy name for letting your child explore objects that aren’t technically considered toys. So if you pass a whisk to your child while making dinner, encourage your little one bang on a pot with a wooden spoon, or let your baby dig into a basket of scrap fabric or ribbon, then you are encouraging your child to engage in heuristic play.

We love this kind of play! We have a treasure basket for our baby set up in every room around the house. And, at eleven months, she’ll explore them for a good twenty minutes at a time. Twenty minutes of engaged, curious, child-led play. It’s beautiful.

Treasure baskets for babies! Simple, free fun. This is our baby's FAVORITE way to play!

The other day we were over at my parent’s house for lunch. My parents have plenty of blocks, balls, and books for our girls, but I realized that they also have all the materials needed for a great baby treasure basket. Should you ever find yourself at a place that lacks “real” toys, have a look around. Maybe you’ll discover that your child’s next favorite toy isn’t actually a toy at all!

At Mamaw and Papaw’s house, our baby played with:

The basket.

Heuristic play for babies! Have you heard of it?

Gift bows.

Treasure basket for baby--our baby LOVES to play with these!

Ribbon.

Treasure baskets for baby. What a fun idea!

Tissue Paper.

Our baby's favorite way to play--treasure baskets!

Wicker Balls.

Make treasure baskets for your baby. So easy and so fun! It's our baby's favorite toy!

Pine cones.

Make your own treasure baskets for your baby. This is our baby's favorite "toy"!

And cinnamon sticks.

Of course other people’s homes may have materials that you don’t want your child to chew on. Please supervise closely and use discretion.

We have one treasure basket at home that our daughter comes back to over and over again. Click on over for MORE ideas for what to put in your baby’s treasure basket!

What household items does your baby enjoy?

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10 thoughts on “Treasure Basket for Baby–Heuristic Play Away from Home

  1. OK, I am loving your site. Your pictures are fabulous, every post appealed to me, I wish I had a baby for the adorable chevron sling. Glad to meet. Allison

    1. You are too sweet! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂 I’ve been following you since you started blogging–your birthday post was what first caught my attention! Amazing work! 🙂

  2. You should be an occupational therapist! Most of the time you post it is about things I do everyday at my job and get paid for it! Sensory play, fine motor, using whatever you have around you to create a stimulating activity, etc! I remember in grad school, we were given a few random items, a diagnosis, and then had to create a treatment session using only the items provided! That is OT at it’s best!! Amazing job momma! I hereby declare that you are an honorary OT!

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